Summary: How we are saved
I. SALVATION IS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW.
"By grace ARE YE SAVED through faith."
Definition of "salvation."
Salvation can be a PRESENT POSSESSION.
Paul writes to the Ephesians . . .
"By grace ARE YE SAVED through faith" (v. 8);
"By grace YE ARE SAVED" (v. 5);
In other words, "YOU ARE ALREADY SAVED."
He did not say . . .
"You may be saved";
"You will be saved";
"You are partly saved";
He said, "You are already saved."
At this moment all of us here are either saved or unsaved.
II. SALVATION IS BY GRACE.
"BY GRACE are ye saved through faith."
Definition of grace
Salvation must be by grace because we are all sinners.
"All have sinned" (Romans 3:23).
"All we like sheep have gone astray" (Isaiah 53:6).
There is no other salvation except that which begins and ends with grace.
A. It Is "Not of Yourselves."
1. You do not deserve it because of who you are.
2. You cannot earn it by what you’ve done.
What we deserve is hell. "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23).
God saved us in spite of ourselves. Look back at verses 1-3. Man deserves nothing from God but punishment.
B. "It Is the Gift of God."
1. It is free.
A gift is free.
2. It is forever.
Charles Spurgeon, "If my Lord Jesus gives you salvation at this moment, you have it, and you have it forever. He will never take it back again; and if he does not take it from you, who can? If he saves you now through faith, you are saved—so saved that you shall never perish, neither shall any pluck you out of his hand" (from his sermon, "All of Grace").
Salvation is given to us; it is not earned by us.
Salvation is not of us; it is of God.
"I am what I am by the grace of God."
III. SALVATION IS THROUGH FAITH.
"By grace are ye saved THROUGH FAITH."
Definition of faith: "Forsaking All I Take Him."
Every person lives by faith:
• How many of you drove over a bridge to get here this morning? How many of you got out of your car to examine whether or not it would support your vehicle?
• How many of you ate something out of a can this week? How many of you had that food tested to see if it was safe to eat.
• How many of you ate at a restaurant this week? How many of you went to the kitchen to see if your food was being prepared properly?
Faith is not the cause of salvation; Christ is the cause of salvation. Faith is but the instrument through which salvation comes to me. Faith does not save; Christ saves.
Salvation is entirely the result of God’s work. "We are his workmanship" (v. 10). We don’t make ourselves Christians; it is God who makes Christians.
A. It Is "Not of Works."
1. Salvation by works is not good news.
a. It is not "news."
b. It is not "good."
2. Salvation by works is unsuitable to many.
a. It is unsuitable to sinners ready to die.
A man is dying. His family asks that I go see him. I sit at his bedside. He has lived an ungodly life, and he is about to die. Should I tell him that he can only be saved by good works? There is no time for good works? There is no possibility of them? While I am speaking, his life is struggling to escape him. He looks at me in the agony of his soul, and he stammers out, "What must I do to be saved?" Should I read him the Ten Commandments and tell him that he must keep them all? He would shake his head and say, "I have broken them all; I am condemned by them all." If salvation is by works, what more have I to say? I am of no use here. What can I say? The man is completely lost. There is no hope for him.
If salvation is by works, our Lord could not have said to the thief, dying at His side, "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise." That man could do no works. His hands and feet were fastened to the cross.
A gospel that does not suit everybody does not suit anybody.
b. It is unsuitable to sinners aware of their sinfulness.
Spurgeon said, . . . go through your jails; and just see what you can do with a doctrine of salvation by works. You will come home disappointed, however earnest may be your address. But go there, and tell of free grace and dying love, and pardon bought with blood, and eyes that stream with tears, confessions of sin, and cries for pardon, will tell you that you have not spoken in vain (ibid.).